I believe in personal strength. That it comes from inside out. That we were each born with a unique soul. All the answers lie within. And if we stay quiet enough, and listen to ourselves, and if everybody would that, I think we would have a great world.
It’s personal experiences that got me to believe this. Finding it in yoga, becoming more silent, has led the way. I started with meditations, and I hated meditations. Aaargh, don’t make me sit still! But then you have these active Osho meditations, and I thought, ‘oh this feels so good! I can scream, move, dance, make sounds!’ And then I became more serious about taking yoga classes and teacher training, and you become so aware of yourself in a different way. I really encountered myself in the yoga practice and in the teachings that I gave. You become consumed in a world and a different lifestyle than I had before, when I was more…wild (laughing). I also started reading about quieting the mind. And when you do quiet the mind, there’s answers there, there’s peacefulness there. Most people are not peaceful at all. Myself included. There’s too much…we never calm our nervous systems enough to be able to feel what it is that we want and need, and how we can provide that. We are continuously just following a course that is led by whatever is coming our way. You have your upbringing, and then it just goes on and on. If you stand still, and you do that often enough, I believe you can follow your true path. And I believe everyone has one.
My children, and children in general, are my examples. Because they don’t have any of all the bullshit that we have. They just live and feel, they can be amazed with the same piece of paper for an hour, just because it makes such a funny noise. They actually live with their senses. If you have young children especially, you’re just lying on the floor with a stupid toy for half an hour, and that’s also quieting down. And seeing that ‘wow, we have a connection’. What on earth are we doing? We’re riding a car toy up and down. But still, that’s some serious connecting shit that’s going on! And you can spend a night in a bar, talking to tons of different people, and have a lot of fun, but how much are you really connecting? Because there’s all that BS, and you don’t have that with a child.
I’d say I most identify with a yogi. There are so many different streams within yoga, but everything I’ve learned within yoga, all the books I’ve read, the trainings I followed, are based on this ‘lower self, higher self’ concept I’m talking about. And I actually do believe that’s within all religions. Praying is finding stillness. How amazing is it that in Islam you do that five times a day? Or Ramadan, when you reset your whole system?
But actually, I am continually rushing. Two young kids, working full time…of course I’m rushing. Rushing as soon as they wake up, rushing to work to get there on time, just continually living from moment to moment, not in the moment. I’m cycling at least an hour a day, and I’m really really trying to make that a relaxing experience. And I think it would be, if you would go through the dunes, but in Amsterdam! There are so many bicycles. Still, those are the moment that I most realise, ‘I’m not doing anything, I’m cycling, this is moment in which I’m sort of alone, this is my moment to find some stillness’. But it’s challenging. As opposed to when I first started with meditation and yoga, I have to create micro-moments. Washing my hands after using the toilet has become a moment to take time for myself. With the children too: I try to put them to bed, they’re coming back out…very frustrating. But instead of getting upset, sometimes I just sit in front of the door and do some deep breathing exercises. Throw in an Ujjayi breath. Sometimes it calms them down and makes them fall asleep.
I’ve done it in the right order: I first did the whole yoga meditation thing and then I started growing in a corporate environment. You see all these women that have done the corporate environment, get a burnout, start doing yoga and get high on everything it teaches. So, within the corporate community, they really like all my yoga knowledge, and they like for me to spread it within this environment. And within the yoga community, they are like, ‘how can you live in such a corporate environment and deal with all that stuff?’. So in both worlds I feel I’m the odd one out. And I love feeling that!